'30p Lee' Anderson says there is NO real poverty in Britain

Tory firebrand ’30p Lee’ Anderson says there is NO poverty in Britain that compares to the misery of the 1970s – and dismisses HS2 rail downgrade by saying no-one wants to travel to Bradford quickly

Top Tory Lee Anderson lashed out at government critics over the state of the economy last night, saying it was ‘nonsense’ that there was poverty in modern Britain.

The party deputy chairman, who has been nicknamed ’30p Lee’  after previous comments on eating on a budget, said while some people were struggling, the country was in a far better state than it was in the 1970s.

In a wide-ranging chat at a Conservative Party Conference fringe he said: ‘I don’t believe all this … poverty nonsense. Go in a time machine back into when I was growing up in the 70s, that was real poverty… It’s nonsense now, it’s absolute nonsense.

‘Yeah things are tough, things are difficult for families, people are struggling to budget sometimes, but this is not an impoverished island. This is a wealthy country and the countries they are limitless in the UK, if you want something you can go and get it. You need to get off your a*** and go and get it for yourself.’

He also defended the expected announcement that the HS2 rail line north of Birmingham will be scrapped, saying money would be better spent on buses.

In a discussion about how it would quicken journeys to Bradford, he provoked laughter by saying: ”Anyone here from Bradford? Would you want to get there quicker?’

The party deputy chairman, who has been nicknamed ’30p Lee’ after previous comments on eating on a budget, said while some people were struggling, the country was in a far better state than it was in the 1970s.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will use the most important speech of his premiership to paint himself as an agent of change

Lee Anderson’s history of controversies

Lee Anderson has been no stranger to controversy since entering the House of Commons in 2019.

Here are some of the rows the Ashfield MP has been caught up in…

Bibby Stockholm 

In August he told asylum seekers refusing to board the Bibby Stockholm barge they should ‘f*** off back to France’. He his blast after 20 people declined to get on the vessel in Portland Port, Dorset. 

Lawyers claimed some had a ‘severe fear of water’ after traumatic experiences. Legionnaire’s Disease was later found in the water system and migrants taken elsewhere.

Taking the knee

Ahead of the 2020 European Championships, Mr Anderson vowed to boycott England games during the football tournament due to the side’s decision to ‘take the knee’ before matches.

He said, by performing the anti-racism gesture which has become linked to the Black Lives Matter movement, the players were supporting a ‘political movement’ and risked alienating ‘traditional supporters’.

Mr Anderson watered down his boycott of England games when Gareth Southgate’s side reached the final.

He revealed he would allow himself to keep tabs on the score via his phone.

Food banks

Mr Anderson sparked fury last year after suggesting Britons are only using food banks because they ‘can’t budget’ and ‘can’t cook a meal from scratch’.

He also claimed there was not a ‘massive use for food banks’ in Britain.

Following criticism of his remarks, Mr Anderson offered ‘proof’ that meals can be cooked for 30p each. This saw him dubbed ’30p Lee’.

Support for the death penalty

Shortly after he was appointed Tory deputy chairman by Rishi Sunak this year, Mr Anderson faced a storm of criticism over his support for the return of the death penalty.

‘Nobody has ever committed a crime after being executed,’ Mr Anderson told the Spectator magazine.

‘You know that, don’t you? 100% success rate.’

Downing Street was forced to clarify that Mr Anderson does not speak for the Government in his party role.

Row with Game of Throne star’s dad

In April, Mr Anderson told the father of Game of Throne star Rose Leslie to ‘come outside’ in a bust-up in Parliament.

He was claimed to have been ‘aggressive’ towards Sebastian Leslie, whose daughter played Ygritte in the hit TV series, during a row in a House of Commons dining room.

The altercation was said to have been prompted by the explusion of North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen from the Conservative Party.

But Mr Anderson said it had been Mr Bridgen who was ‘rude and aggressive’ during the altercation.

MPs’ second jobs

In March, Mr Anderson was revealed to be earning £100,000 a year from his TV role with GB News – less than 18 months after he had blasted MPs who need ‘an extra £100,000 a year’ on top of their parliamentary salary.

In the wake of the Owen Paterson lobbying row, Mr Anderson had said: ‘If you need an extra £100,000 a year on top then you should really be looking for another job.’

He later signed up to GB News where he devotes eight hours a week to his role as a presenter and contributor.

The Commons sleaze watchdog recently launched a probe into Mr Anderson’s filming of a promo video for his weekly show from Parliament’s roof.

MPs are subject to strict rules over the taxpayer-funded services provided to them by the Commons in support of their parliamentary activities.

Eddie Izzard

Mr Anderson came under fire last October when he questioned whether female representation would ‘increase or decrease’ if Eddie Izzard was elected as an MP.

He claimed he ‘would not follow him into the toilets’ if Izzard, who identifies as a woman with she/her pronouns, came to Parliament.

At the time, Izzard was attempting to become Labour’s candidate in the Sheffield Central constituency.

Mr Anderson was accused of making ‘transphobic’ comments.

After a conference attendee from the city told him it was a ‘cheap shot’, he added: ‘I just cannot believe in this day and age that some people are so intent on fitting in a high speed railway, the length and breadth of the country, digging everywhere, kicking people out of their houses… 

‘People can’t get from one village to another on a bus. If everybody could get to that, from one village to another on a bus, I’d have no arguments at all. I’d say fine, go for it. It’s about being fair.’ 

After the event for the Conservative Home website, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the  leader of Bradford Council, told the Telegraph and Argus newspaper: ‘It’s no wonder that the Government’s much heralded levelling up has not happened in the north if this is the attitude of the Conservative Party deputy chair.’

The Ashfield MP, who had been a Labour councillor before defecting to the Tories and getting elected for the first time in 2019, is well-known for his bluntness and remarks about poverty and other subjects.

He gained his nickname by claiming people could feed themselves on 30p a day, attacked migrants who did not want to live on the Bibby Stockholm barge and  refused to watch the England football team while they ‘take the knee’ in protest at racial injustice before games.

He was also criticised for taking a £100,000 role as a presenter with GB News after previously criticising MPs taking second jobs to top up their £86,000 salary.

Rishi Sunak is expected to defy a backlash from Tory colleagues and northern leaders by abandoning the high-speed rail route to Manchester as he seeks to portray himself as a radical reformer.

Rishi Sunak will use a crucial Tory conference speech today to vow to fix Britain’s ‘broken’ politics – after Suella Braverman’s immigration ‘hurricane’ warning split the party.

The PM is braced for his big moment just before noon as he wraps up what is likely to be the final Conservative gathering before a general election.

Mr Sunak will say he is the leader to end 30 years of failed ‘status quo’ in what is being billed as a highly personal pitch to voters.

The importance of making an impact today was underscored with another poll showing the Tory bounce after he watered down Net Zero commitments has reversed.  

However, he is also poised to spark controversy by axing HS2’s Manchester leg, instead pumping billions into other northern transport projects.

And internal tensions have flared up in the wake of the Home Secretary’s dramatic speech yesterday, when she delivered a grim vision of the threat to Britain’s borders.

Ms Braverman said a ‘wind of change’ had brought her own parents from Kenya to the UK, but cautioned that a ‘hurricane is coming’ – painting a dire picture of the country being concreted over in a futile effort to accommodate millions of arrivals. 

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch – seen as a potential rival to be the next Conservative leader – warned the politicians have to be ‘careful’ about words. 

‘We have to be very careful about how we explain and express immigration policies, so that people aren’t getting echoes of things that were less palatable,’ she said.

Science Secretary Michelle Donelan declined to repeat the language used by Ms Braverman.

She told BBC’s Newsnight: ‘My language is different to her language… I think that she’s trying to emphasise how important it is that we tackle something that the British public are deeply concerned about.’

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps played down concerns that the speech was inflammatory. ‘She makes the absolutely correct point we’ve already seen a lot of movement… we could see a lot more, a hurricane, as she describes it, of people moving,’ he told Times Radio.

Asked about comparisons which have been made to Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech, he said: ‘So many people are from immigrant backgrounds in this country. I think I’m third generation myself… Suella’s first generation, her parents came over in the 60s. So this is certainly no Enoch Powell situation, is it, to make the very obvious point.’

Mr Sunak will use the most important speech of his premiership to paint himself as an agent of change who is willing to make tough decisions in the country’s long-term interests.

He will acknowledge that Westminster politics is ‘broken’ and declare a mission to ‘fundamentally change our country’.

And he will accuse Sir Keir Starmer of a cynical attempt to win the election by default.

The run-up to today’s speech has been overshadowed by a furious row over the future of the troubled HS2 rail line.

Mr Sunak will convene an emergency meeting of the Cabinet this morning to rubber stamp proposals that will scrap the northern leg from Birmingham to Manchester – amid Tory dismay that bungled handling has allowed the row to run for weeks and dominate conference.

The PM yesterday said the bill for the project – now estimated at more than £100billion – was ‘far beyond what anyone thought’ when it began.  

In a red meat address to the party faithful yesterday Suella Braverman (left) warned of an immigration ‘hurricane’ coming – but Kemi Badenoch (right) said politicians need to be ‘careful’ about their language 

Today he will unveil detailed plans to plough the billions of pounds saved into improving transport infrastructure in the North and Midlands.

This will include a renewed commitment to the Northern Powerhouse Rail project which aims to revolutionise east-west services stretching from Hull to Liverpool via Leeds and Manchester.

The plan for an HS2 station at Euston also appears to have been saved, following a rearguard action by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.    

Mr Shapps all-but confirmed the move today, stressing that HS2 trains will still run and ‘tens of billions’ will be freed up for other investment. 

The proposal to axe the northern leg of HS2 has triggered a massive backlash from business, Labour and senior Tories, including Boris Johnson and West Midlands mayor Andy Street.

Mr Sunak will argue that HS2 is the product of a failed consensus – and insist that ‘levelling up’ projects in the North will be delivered more quickly and effectively without it.

Source: Read Full Article